The other day I found myself with a bit of spare time in the Eastern suburbs, so (taking a deep breath) braved the wilds of Chadstone to visit their exhibition of costumes from the wonderful TV series “Mad Men”.
What: Mad Men costumes on display
When: Saturday 3rd December, 10-11am
Where: Chadstone Shopping Centre, luxury precinct.
The shopping gods were smiling on me as my parking sport was very close to my destination – I don’t like shopping centres much, preferring to shop the old fashioned way with strip shops owned by independent businesses, and I didn’t fancy the idea of wandering around for hours until I didn’t know my own name. Even better, it was a quiet day and I had the display almost to myself.
It’s a fairly small exhibition but well set out: 11 (or 12?) mannequins fully accessorised, and next to each one is a photo of the actor wearing it. In between are period furniture, and props – a nice setting of the scene even if not all are true to the series (copies of the Australian Womens’ Weekly are conspicuous additions).
For me, it was an exercise in how much an actor brings to a performance – Joan’s dresses in particular lacked a lot without her personality – and figure – to fill them out. The pink dress looked kind of frumpy without her sashay and charmingly stern look. Betty’s fared better, although you can tell how petite she is when the dress can’t do up properly (but it was very nicely displayed regardless, see the blue silk ensemble). Peggy’s were the best – her figure and style suit the format.
It would have been nice to see more of the menswear, but the suits are displayed well with a good eye for detail. They all look very similar without the contribution from the actors though. A nice treat was the settings, doing a lot to summon up the world of Mad Men.
Is it worth a trip to Chadstone? That depends on how much you like the shopping centre and Mad Men I guess – I was glad to scoot back to my inner city enclave, but this is probably the closest I’ll get to Christina Hendricks et al. Sadly, the plastic barrier prevented me from sneaking a touch of the fabrics, as I’d love to know what they feel like.
Hover your mouse over each image to see the name of the character who wore it.